The Smart Research Framework (SRF) – what the software enables and facilitates Building on the insight gained from our e-Science research e.g:
- CombeChem, http://www.combechem.org
- eBank, http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/projects/ebank-uk/
- eCrystals, http://ecrystals.chem.soton.ac.uk
- R4L, http://r4l.eprints.org
- Smart Tea, http://www.smarttea.org
- oreChem, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/orechem/
- I2S2, http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/projects/I2S2/
- IDMB, http://www.southamptondata.org
- WebTracks, http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/mrd/clip/webtracks.aspx
We have extended the model of a digital infrastructure for supporting research (repositories, LIMS, pervasive computing & basic RDF underpinning) to incorporate the equally familiar social networking paradigm of the online blog. The needs of the researcher are however different from those of the prototypical members of the Blogosphere – a data centric system with control over visibility and sharing are essential.
The difference between our system and other approaches is that the data is associated with the proposed scientific endeavour prior to or at the point of creation rather than by annotating the data with commentary after the experiment has taken place. This means that scientists and their peers can recreate and adapt the experiment repeatedly having already automated the processes and instrument settings. Crucially this approach also provides the potential for a data management and curation framework applicable for all disciplines and scalable from the research group to entire communities. The SRF supports and encourages a tight integration between the experimental process and the data generated, linking between these to provide the basis for provenance, reproducibility and re-use.
The Smart Labs project at Southampton, http://www.eresearchsouth.ac.uk/projects/smart-labs part of the e-Research South Programme, is summarised at http://tinyurl.com/6a4kb9g and in an associated presentation at http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/41795/.